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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 22, 2021

Previously convicted sex offender sentenced to 35 years in federal prison for child pornography and international kidnapping

              ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Clarence Michael Ransom, 53, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, was sentenced on Jan. 20 to 35 years in federal prison for attempted production of child pornography, international parental kidnapping and failure to report international travel as a sex offender.

              Ransom pleaded guilty on June 23, 2020. In the plea agreement, Ransom admitted having at least ten sexually explicit conversations over an online social networking and dating platform in May 2019. Ransom believed he was chatting with a 14-year-old girl, but the other party to the conversations was an undercover law enforcement officer. Ransom admitted to using extremely sexual and coercive language to try to obtain sexually explicit photographs of the person he thought was a child. Ransom was in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, when he engaged in these conversations.

              Ransom also admitted kidnapping his two children from their mother, with whom he shared custody, and fleeing with them to Mexico on Oct. 8, 2019. Mexican law enforcement later arrested Ransom and transported him back to the United States for prosecution.

              Ransom is required to register as sex offender based on a 1991 conviction for engaging in an unlawful sexual act with a child under 12. Ransom violated federal requirements to update his sex offender registration and to notify the proper authorities when he left the United States.

             Upon his release from prison, Ransom will be subject to supervised release for life.

             The FBI and United States Marshal Service investigated this case with the assistance of the Las Cruces Police Department. Assistant U.S Attorneys Matilda McCarthy Villalobos and Mark A. Saltman prosecuted the case.

Updated January 24, 2021